In a new report filed Friday, Yahoo Sports NFL insider Charles Robinson learned via sources that the sides have made “little contact” since September, when Prescott’s camp dug in its heels for a potentially record-smashing pact.
According to Robinson, the Cowboys offered their franchise quarterback a deal similar to the four-year, $128 million extension that Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz received this summer. The proposal was rejected — and there’s been close to radio silence since.
“If there was any hope there might be a late-season contract extension push between the Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott, let this reality sink in: The two sides haven’t had a productive exchange of proposals since the first month of the season. And the impasse is headed for even choppier waters after he’s hit with a franchise tag,” Robinson wrote.
Sources familiar with the talks between Prescott’s camp and the Cowboys said the two sides have had little contact since September, with the last substantive exchange unraveling after Prescott’s camp indicated to the Cowboys that the extension price was increasing as the 2019 season went on. One source confirmed Prescott turned down a preseason offer that would have compared favorably to the Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz, who signed a four-year extension for $128 million last June. In September, the Los Angeles Rams’ Jared Goff also signed an extension for four years and $134 million.”
Prescott preferred to bet on himself, playing out the final year of his rookie contract for a measly $2.025 million. The gamble paid off in a major way as the two-time Pro Bowl passer enjoys a career season. Prescott currently leads the NFL in passing yards (4,122) and, with three games remaining, is on pace to eclipse Tony Romo’s single-season passing yards record (4,903) for a Dallas signal-caller.
Robinson previously reported that Prescott was initially low-balled by the Cowboys, who floated a $25 million-per-year proposal to agent Todd France at the onset of talks. This, it appears, was the impetus for the ballyhooed $40 million annual demand that Prescott made, almost in retaliation for his perceived slight.
“Early on in the process what I was told was the reason why there was really some difficulty early in the process was just that Dallas came in low,” Robinson said on the Boys and Girl Podcast, via SB Nation’s RJ Ochoa. “I was told flat out Dallas’ first offer on the table was like $25M. Now this was a while ago. But it was low enough at $25M that Todd France, what I was told … I mean he was upset, and he countered with just an astronomical per year figure. Not because that’s what he actually wanted, but he was kind of flipping the bird to the Cowboys. Saying like, ‘Look, we’re not doing this. We’re not starting in the 20s. You can get off that right now.’”
CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora wrote on Dec. 1 that the team has made “no progress” in negotiations with Prescott, as well as fellow impending free agents Amari Cooper and Byron Jones. Per La Canfora, however, “retaining Prescott remains the primary objective of owner Jerry Jones,” who has the franchise tag at his disposal — and will execute it — if a long-term contract cannot be struck.
The Cowboys are projected to wield upwards of $80 million in 2020 salary cap space, more than enough to lock down their in-house priorities. Perhaps at historic clips.
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Ex-NFL GM Predicts Absurdly Enormous Contract for Dak
Former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum (emphasis on “former”) has issued a mind-blowing projection. Appearing on ESPN Radio on Sunday, Tannenbaum, who also ran the Miami Dolphins’ football operations from 2015-18 and currently works as an analyst for the Worldwide Leader, stated his belief that Prescott will land a staggering $400 million deal — $40 million annually over 10 years — from the Cowboys.
The league’s richest QB, in terms of annual salary, is Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who’s pulling in $35 million per year. In terms of total value, Atlanta QB Matt Ryan holds the top spot, having signed a five-year, $150 million extension in 2018. There’s never been a $200 million deal, let alone $400 million, in the sport’s history.
Tannenbaum has been something of a Dak cheerleader, championing for the fourth-year star to receive his just desserts. During a recent segment on ESPN’s Get Up, he used Prescott’s talk-is-cheap mantra as rationale to reward him.
“Zeke Elliott … you reward the wrong behavior, in my opinion,” Tannenbaum said in a message to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. “But what [Prescott] just said, that is priceless. You want him to hold everybody else accountable. You pay him first, and everybody else falls in line.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL